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Posts Tagged ‘love’

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That’s not his name but that’s what he represents. This is one of my littlest cousins, Aiden. His favorite color is red … or at least it used to be. He wrote me a letter (with some loving assistance) asking me about my favorite color. I wrote him back and told him orange … or at least it used to be. When I watch, read and listen to the news, because I have to do that, it can be quite dispiriting to think about the future. But then I can think of this little person with his hands clasped, ready to take on the world. With loving assistance …

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Previously in The Story of My Art: “becoming an artist confident”

And now (click on image for larger view) …

The next chapter in this artistic journey is Thursday June 16th. 

Meanwhile, view Mr. Langosy’s art at http://www.donald.langosy.net/ and https://www.facebook.com/The-Art-of-Donald-Langosy-270498092961524/photos/?tab=album&album_id=442071359137529

Interested in his work? Please contact his daughter Zoe at zlangosy@me.com.

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Previously in The Story of My Art: “and then I met Elizabeth”

And now …

The next chapater in this artistic journey is Thursday June 9th.  Meanwhile, learn more about Langosy’s art by contacting Zoe at zlangosy@me.com.

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Sometimes when I am in a room with a group of people, someone will say, “Be careful what you say. We have a writer in our midst and she always sees a story.” I don’t know that I always see a story, but in this case I do.  It is the story of a man and a woman, two artists in their own right, who formed a union. A painter-poet and his writer muse.  Donald and Elizabeth Langosy.

I have permission to call him Donald but, since I am friends with his daughter Zoe, my southern upbringing drives me to refer to him as Mr. Langosy . Now, Elizabeth has made clear, that since we are writing colleagues, I am to call her Elizabeth.  And when she tells you to do something, what else is there to do but what she said in that gentle but oh so firm way of hers. She has that way about her, like a force of nature. Perhaps that is what drew Donald to her. That is his story to tell and, in part, that is what he has begun to do in the pages that his daughter helped him put together, The Story of My Art by Donald Langosy.

In these 14-pages a veil is pulled aside and we the viewer become privy to the bright life of a talented man and his love for a talented woman. We see how that love has enabled and empowered him to produce a body of work that is dynamic, vibrant, sometimes humorous, sometimes sad, and always provocative.

Below are two pages from The Story of My Art. Click on each image for a larger view. Over the course of the next six Thursdays the rest of the story will be shared. Join me on a journey …

For more information about Langosy’s art, contact Zoe at zlangosy@me.com.

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Visit the website of artist Cedric Harper. Scroll through the sculpture page. Be patient. There you will find The Book of Truth.

As described on the site, it is a ceramic sculpture with a tile base. Inside a large black box is a small black box with a white book. Next to the book is a line of small white trees glistening against a dark red sky. Stark. Beautiful. Visually compelling. Mysterious. What truths reside in that book? During a recent conversation, Cedric would not only tell me about the book but how life, especially its challenges, had shaped his unique artistic expression that combines, as he describes, language, symbols and dreams.

photo courtesy of the artist

I first met Cedric at the Riverside Gallery at the Cambridge Community Center.  We were exhibiting in the same show.  I would later tell him that he reminded me of my brothers.  He is a tall, slim, African American man. Very humble.  And like them someone too easy to underestimate, a sentiment I was reminded of when he described how surprised people can be to discover that he, this quiet gentleman, has created such bold work.

photo courtesy of artist

photo courtesy of artist

Having seen his work in person and online, I was drawn to his use of color and texture and his unique juxtaposition of words and images. Why particular words, images, even the use of such colors?  “They come to me in a dream.  I pick up the broken pieces that others throw away as trash.  In my dreams I see the completed piece.  And then all I have to do is make that image real.”

photo courtesy of artist

photo courtesy of artist

Born in 1957, raised in Kansas City, Kansas, member of a large family, he remembers how his parents stressed working hard. “You had to believe in yourself to achieve success. There were always stories about that.” After college at the University of Kansas-Lawrence, he met a nice fellow, and moved to France for a year.  In 1982 he returned to Kansas where “I met the love of my life.” Eventually they moved to Massachusetts where Cedric would work in healthcare as an advocate for individuals with disabilities.  He would do so for thirty years before becoming a full-time artist. “But when did you actually start producing art?” I asked, and he said quietly, “When my lover was dying.”

photo courtesy of artist

photo courtesy of artist

Cedric’s lover had contracted HIV. As they tried to figure out next steps, they set him up in a home on Cape Cod. Cedric commuted but eventually his lover’s condition worsened and Cedric took leave to take care of him.  “When I moved to the Cape, that’s when I began making art. You know how in Provincetown there are so many shops and they sell box kits for people to put their shells in and other trinkets. To keep my sanity, I started buying the boxes and putting them together and painting them. The paintings became more elaborate. People started paying attention.  They encouraged me.”

photo courtesy of artist

photo courtesy of artist

The pieces evolved.  “Provincetown is a mecca for people throwing out great trash. Beautiful pieces of wood and other materials. If some object called to me, I would bring it home, break it down. Later I’d have vivid dreams about the finished piece specific to the object I had picked up.  That was the hard part. Figuring out how to make that concept real.”

Cedric’s lover died April 7, 1994. “There were a lot of dishes broken that day,” he said with a gentle laugh.  Later he would add, “Art brought me back. Gave me perspective. Something to hold onto and communicate with.”

photo courtesy of the artist

Since then, his art has continued to evolve.  “I began reading books on ancient languages, studying heiroglyphs, and exploring how one translates pictures into language and vice versa.”

photo courtesy of the artist

“Exploring these ideas of language and symbols is what I want to do especially with something that already exists, that people have tossed away.  I can take it and make it my own. My inspiration comes from my imagination. There are no boundaries.”

See Cedric Harper’s artwork firsthand. His work will be on display this weekend, along with eight other fine artists, at the Riverside Gallery Exhibit, Words in our Work.  Opening reception is Sunday, February 28, 3:00-5:00 pm. The exhibit runs through March 2016.

As for what’s in The Book of Truth? The answers will be shared in a follow-up post. Take care.

Cedric Harper by Carol Moses

Artist Cedric Harper, Photo by Carol Moses

 

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I wish I had the money to wipe away all of the debts of my family and friends.  Because if their debts were gone, would that make them happy?  Would financial freedom allow them to treat themselves better, as well as improve their treatment of the people in their lives?  No fancy behavior required, just respect, if not outright love and compassion.

Would it enable them to give the people in their lives a hug, on occasion, or at least a pat on the hand, and even sometimes to perform such actions without even being asked? Would it enable them to talk to each other and communicate in ways that work for all involved and not just one side? Perhaps conversations could take place without someone always having to be wrong so that someone can be right.

window8But I don’t have such funds to give and even if I did, I’m not sure that it would make a difference because in the end, I can control no one’s behavior except my own.  Maybe I should wish for the money so that I can travel around the world, to where all these friends and family members live, those that are suffering and in some form of pain. Perhaps I could pass out those hugs or those pats on the hand, so that certain people know that they are loved and that their presence does make a difference to the people around them and always has, even if words of gratitude are not often shared.

Of late I have received so many calls and notes from friends and family, all suffering in some way, but mostly feeling alone though they are surrounded by others.  I hear only their words, and know that there is always more than one side to any story.  I can make no judgements about those others in their lives.  I just wish that all were happy and each knew how precious each day was to have such people in their lives.  I can listen to the words and I can read the notes but I cannot change behavior.  But there is something I can do.
Each spring into summer, I buy seeds of all kinds, in packages large and small.  I send them out into the world to family and friends, of all ages, to help people pause and maybe even share a precious moment with others as they plant the seeds in the soil.  I send them to the closest of friends and family, and I send them to family and friends I know not very well at all.  I send them to the people who cannot speak to each other in hopes they can plant a seed together even if they do so in silence.  It is a selfish act — to know that I did something, gave something, to another.  I do not know what the seeds do for the recipients or even if the seeds are planted.  I simply hope they are.  I hope they are.

*the photographs are the latest series of photographs taken through the rippled glass, of life blurried but still beautiful

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Of late, I’ve met a man from a war-torn country who now lives and works in the U.S.  He has described to me scenes of great brutality inflicted by man upon man for reasons like this person looked like someone from that country versus this country.  He often has a smile on his face.

I am noted for seeing even an empty glass as half-full, but this man’s ability to find the positive puts me to shame.  Why is he so happy?  Not because he has a job that pays exceptionally well. He doesn’t.  Not because he’s made many new friends in this country.  He hasn’t.  I think it is because, even as the soil ran red with blood around him, he remained open to the possibilities.  He saw the beauty amidst the horror, like the flowers blossoming near that same bloody field.

He remained hopeful.  Or, as he once told me, he has love in his heart and so long as you have love, what else do you need? Hmmm.

One day I did chance upon him not smiling. I asked the first question that came to mind. “Do you still have love in your heart?”  He did not react with surprise to my words.  His brow furrowed in deep thought.  After a moment, he nodded, and then he smiled broadly.  “Yes, Cynthia.  Yes I do!”

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